Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font has spoken of the “decisive role” that former midfielder Xavi has in keeping talisman Lionel Messi at Barcelona beyond the expiration of his contract in this coming summer.
Xavi is one of the most decorated footballers in the history of the game. The Catalan has won, amongst many others, eight La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Messi, despite evidently slowing down as he begins to enter his mid-30s, registered 31 goals and 27 assists last season, from 44 appearances. The season before he scored 51 goals and contributed 20 assists from 50 games.
Font has long spoken of his ambitions to make Xavi his coach should he win in the elections scheduled for January 24th, and has stressed the importance of Xavi to retaining Messi with Reuters in comments carried by Diario Sport.
“Messi needs to be convinced that we have a competitive and winning project,” Font said. “Xavi can play a decisive role for us in doing so.
“Xavi’s credibility and knowledge of football is such that he could convince someone like Messi. They’re friends, they know each other and they trust each other. That’s key.
“For us, the partnership between Messi and Barca is a strategic relationship and we want to make sure that we create the right conditions for Messi to play a role at the club even after his retirement. Messi could contribute a lot of ideas.”
At this very moment, the other candidates who’ve announced their intention to run are Victor Font, Toni Freixa, Agusti Benedito, Luis Fernandez Ala and Vilajoana.
The electoral campaign will last one week, from January 15th to the 22nd, and only members of legal voting age will be able to vote – they’ll have to have been a member for a year and never have been suspended. Electronic voting won’t be allowed, and all candidates must gather at least 2,264 signatures.
Featured image courtesy of Diario AS.